ERIC Number: ED415870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
African-American Heritage Collections Go Digital: Once Hidden Cultural Treasures Find the Route to Accessibility and Popularity through High Technology in Academic Libraries.
Kenerson, Murle E.
A wealth of African-American resources have remained "hidden resources," even as interest in and need for these rare documents has risen. Digitizing collections would make these materials available through the Internet and World Wide Web. Many of these materials reside in historically black institutions which oftentimes lack the resources to transform them to digital modes. The paper identifies institutions that have made efforts to preserve African-American collections, and describes problems associated with digitizing African-American collections held at many academic institutions. Possible solutions to the demand for the latest technology within the constraints of a library's budget include: make critical decisions early in the developmental process; keep the technology simple; seek grants for funding; and begin with digitizing only a limited subset of materials. The digital system has arrived in the academic library; it will remain and evolve there, and it will provide new means of retrieving lost, strayed, and forgotten materials from the African-American experience. Problems associated with access will not disappear, interwoven as they are with copyrights, networking between institutions, and the fact that no regular, formal educational program will automatically produce the specialists needed in the field of these materials. (SWC)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Access to Information, Archives, Black Culture, Black History, Black Literature, Blacks, Electronic Libraries, Information Dissemination, Information Retrieval, Information Sources, Internet, Library Collections, Online Systems, Preservation, User Needs (Information), World Wide Web
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A